Thursday, December 31, 2009

City: Happy New Year, parking scofflaws! Prepare to be booted!

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 10:44 PM

click to enlarge You can't escape Das Boot
  • You can't escape Das Boot

Once you finish watching a giant peach drop from the sky tonight, pray to God that your car didn't get towed or booted — especially if you've got a bunch of unpaid parking tickets stashed in your glove compartment.

On Jan. 1, 2010, the city's PARKatlanta program takes effect. That means illegally parked vehicles on city streets with more than three unpaid parking citations or fines are hereby considered eligible for booting and/or towing. (The program also handles meter installation and maintenance and payment processing, but we know it's the boots you're concerned about.)

In June, the city partnered with Duncan Solutions, a Milwaukee-based company that specializes in parking enforcement, as a way to generate revenue and collect millions in uncollected parking fees and fines. (My dear colleague Scott Henry wrote an entertaining and background-filled blog post about the program this summer.)

In November, the city started mailing notices to motorists who were listed as having unpaid citations. If you paid off your fines, you should be cool. But if you didn't, well, holy shit, watch out.

Starting Friday, PARKatlanta personnel will use an automated system to read license plates and flag scofflaws. If your car falls under that category, it's getting a boot.

If you pay all outstanding fines and a $50 removal fee, the city will liberate you from its clutches. If you don't cough up the cash within 24 hours, your ride will be impounded and you'll have to pay towing and storage fees as well.

You'll be able to pay fines and fees by phone, online or in person at the Municipal Court on Garnett Street during normal business hours. More information about the programs' ins and outs, such as contesting citations or reporting broken parking meters, can be found at PARKatlanta's Web site.

2010: It's gonna be great!

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